27 September 2023

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By Paul Gover.

Q: A few months ago I purchased a Lexus IS300h F Sport which is due to be delivered next month.

This morning I read an article about new safety regulations forcing the Lexus IS, CT and RC to be discontinued in Australia.

Do I still go through with the purchase of the car or due to the new safety regulations steer clear?

Adrian M

A: There is nothing wrong with the IS and no real reason to cancel your order. Sales of cars across all sizes and prices are falling to the rise of SUVs, which is why Toyota has decided not to spend the huge money needed to comply with future safety regulations.

Q: I have a 2013 Holden Cruze 1.8-litre auto CDX Sportwagon purchased new in July 2014, now with 44,000 kilometres on the clock.

I am wondering whether I should upgrade now while it may have a trade-in value rather than keep it until parts are scarce and I could be left with a piece of junk.

I am 69 and am more likely to have some money now rather than in five years time.

If I were to upgrade I would like something similar in size, lift-up back (no lip), room for two sets golf clubs, a bit higher so my elderly husband can get in and out more easily, better vision (or at least a reversing camera), reliable and long lasting and around the $30,000 mark.

Sue R

A: You should definitely update, if only for the improved safety in modern cars. Go and test drive the Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic, which is slightly smaller, for your needs. They are both first-class choices, good value and come with a long warranty which is slightly better for the Kia.

Q: I am in the market for a car and, with the current inflation prices on used cars, I am thinking of buying brand-new.

I have my eyes on either the Kia Seltos or the Hyundai Kona – as I very much want a small SUV – and I wanted to get your advice on which way to go.

I think my budget is $30,000, but for the Seltos I think I would go for the Sport model, around $31,000, as that comes with digital radio, leather steering wheel etc.

For the Kona, I have been quoted $28,570.62 for the Active (one up from the base model) and $31,885.02 for the Elite.

For the Kona there is a 4-5 month wait and it’s six months for the Kona.

I would say the Kia Seltos is my preference, as I love its look and is slightly bigger than the Kona.

Whitney P

A: Your finalists are twins under the skin, and from the same Hyundai-Kia conglomerate, so you cannot go wrong either way. If you like the Seltos, the styling and longer warranty definitely tip the scales.

Q: I have heard about an alternative GPS unit called Waze.

I own a 2013 Calais and, unfortunately, Holden only produced two data upgrades for this unit.

I made enquiries some two years ago about an alternative GPS unit for the Calais and, at that time, I received advice on an Alpine unit but the cost was prohibitive at around $3500.

Is Waze an alternative GPS unit for the likes of my Calais, I am reluctant to have any GPS units just sitting on the dashboard for safety reasons.

I will be grateful to hear of any other suggestions you might have.

Keith R

A: Waze is a very effective APP-based, real-time navigation system that provides feedback from other users and an excellent navigation interface. It works through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on modern cars, so will be a non-starter for your ageing Calais. But you should be able to get a cheaper infotainment unit that will slot into the Holden’s dashboard with all the latest trickers including Bluetooth audio.

Q: We are a retired couple that have ordered the car that will probably see us out, a Mercedes GLC coupe, in March.

The salesperson said that it could be about two weeks before it went on a ship to go to Australia and they would let us know when they heard of further movements.

We have not been told of anything and I’m reluctant to make the call.

With the amount of money involved , I don’t understand why there isn’t more communication to inform us of what is going on.

My question is if this the way we do business now? Car salesmen used to drive us bananas with ringing up all the time.

Craig and Marie C

A: There are giant delays from all brands at the moment, caused by everything from a worldwide shortage of computer chips to short working weeks at factories, shipping times and even the number of back-orders in Australia. All I can suggest is that you stay patient, but call Mercedes-Benz Australia and as for a direct update as the dealer might be cribbing on times to keep you happy.

Q: My 24-year-old daughter is looking to purchase her first car, a cash purchase, with a budget of between $25,000 and $30,000.

She is currently looking at the three cars and I would appreciate your advice and recommendation.

They are the Hyundai i30, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla.

Robyn O

A: The Corolla has been the class benchmark for generations, but not now. Best value and a great car is the i30. But perhaps also consider the Kia Cerato, which is its South Korean twin but with a longer warranty and slightly better value.

Q: My daughter is interested in purchasing a pre-2015 Volvo XC60.

What is your opinion of this car as we want her to buy a new Kia Cerato.

Clare-Maree L

A: This is a head-versus-heart contest as the Cerato is new with a long warranty and the Volvo was an excellent vehicle but is now getting a bit old. You’re also trying to compare a family-sized SUV with a compact hatchback. If she is paying, she should choose.

Q: I need a car to transport around my beloved golden retriever (&me & my partner Matt) back & forth from Melbourne CBD to the coast.

I currently have an Audi A3 which I bought new in 2000…clearly time to update (even though the little ‘4 rings’ stills ducks & weaves beautifully).
I would love the XC40 Volvo but worry as I’m ageing (52) it’ll be hard to lift Leo in as he ages also…so I’m back to my original thought of a station wagon.
I looked at the VW Passat a few years ago but didn’t have much joy with the Melbourne VW dealers I visited.
From listening to you I know your mate is head honcho @ VW and you recommend them highly.
I’d appreciate your direction greatly on this decision that I’m tired of procrastinating over!
Please please help, I’m soooo over thinking about what car to buy – I just need to make a decision 🙂

Heather R

A: Skoda Octavia wagon. Great car, practical, fun to drive, good value. Job done.

If you have a question for the Car Doctor, send an email to [email protected]

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